Swifts getting ready to leave

Seems like it’s been a successful year for our swifts, they have been breeding and screaming parties are heard overhead.

They’re still as hard to record as they were last year, however there are more of them it seems. I got the AT XY mics on the job this time. Maybe next year I will try a seriously long boom pole to get the mic pointed straight up in the air and use the directional pattern against some of the noise and traffic rumble of the town, but I’m still of the view swifts sound best in the city!

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Swifts on a warm summer evening

Swifts are one of the fantastic soundmarks of summer, and they sound at their best in the city, with their high-pitched screaming resonating from the houses all around. You get them in rural parts too, but the sound needs the hard surfaces of the city when they come in low at rooftop height in the warm summer evenings. According to the BTO they like towns.

The Devil’s Bird is the devil’s own job to record, too. You don’t try and track them, there’s just no hope to get anything directional on the job, and the screaming groups tend to spread out as they get close too. Just don’t even think of using a parabolic dish or a shotgun mic 😉

This one is basically the Olympus LS-10 with internal mics propped in a first-floor window, and snipped out of a long trawl for swifts, Then I used a parametric EQ to hit some of the town traffic rumble.